Celtic Spirit is a 37-foot Island Spirit catamaran built in Cape Town, South Africa and purchased new by Willem’s family in 2003 from a sailboat customizer in Miami. It features 4 double cabins, 2 heads and a galley up.

The boat came outfitted with the following:

  • Watermaker
  • Fridge & freezer
  • Raymarine electronics
  • Solar panels

Who is Irish in our family, you ask? Our boat is! Well, the boat customizer who we bought it from is. Since he named it and Celtic Spirit rings nicely with the boat’s type (Island Spirit) we kept it as is.

island spirit 37 layout

Boat Maintenace & Upgrades for Offshore Passagemaking

We installed several upgrades over the years, and most recently over the summer of 2019 we worked hard at upgrading several features of the boat to prepare it for offshore passage making. Some of these installations/upgrades/fixes, in no particular order:


Sails & Rigging

  • Replaced all standing rigging from Bay Sailing
  • Replaced spinnaker halyard and both jib sheets

Boat Maintenance

  • Stripped and repainted peeling paint on forward aluminum & mast using a Pettit 2-part epoxy primer & Pettit single-part topside paint
  • We found rotten wood under the windlass so we replaced the marine plywood sandwich deck with solid fiberglass and fared & finished it with gelcoat to (sort of) match the rest of the deck. Willem even added non-skid!
  • Removed and resealed cockpit door with silicone as it was previously leaking
  • Added drains to both cockpit lockers on the floor to eliminate a design flaw letting water run to aft areas without drains


  • Replaced masthead light with a double light including white anchor light and tricolor navigation light as backup
  • Replaced navigation lights with LED
  • Replaced all salon lights and 2 bunk lights with LED

Offshore Safety Additions

  • Installed Viking Liferaft with a hydrostatic release
  • Outfitted inflatable PFDs with whistles, mirrors, personal lights, knives, splashguards
  • Metal and backup cardboard radar reflector
  • Double tethers
  • SOLAS reflective tape to all PFDs on board
  • Manual bilge pump to be easily accessible from on deck
  • Outfitted a ditch bag with items to hold 4 people over for longer than 24 hours
  • Fire blanket
  • Fog horn
  • Floating First Aid Kit
island spirit 37